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Case of the Missing Yard Signs: Brinks Makes Good on Technician’s Disregard

A technician for a Brinks authorized dealer inexplicably jettisons a pair of yard signs at a customer’s residence, but all’s well that ends well.

You’ll just have to trust me on this one: My mom has more patience than the Pacific Ocean has water. Suffice to say it takes a lot to cook her goose. But a disingenuous act by an alarm technician the other day really ticked her off good.

The episode, which played out over the course of almost two weeks, began with a couple faulty window alarm contacts. When her Interlogix panel displayed a system arming trouble, my mother, a California resident, placed a call to Brinks Home Security. A technician from a local authorized dealer was dispatched in fine order and the service call was completed at a cost of $50.

While the tech was still onsite, my mom asked if he would be so kind as to replace her old Monitronics yard sign with a new Brinks Home Security version. “Not a problem,” he said.

Well, there was a problem and in this eightysomething-year-old customer’s estimation it was a big problem that demanded immediate resolution. You see the tech did place the new yard sign; however, later in the day she discovered he inexplicably removed two other security-related signs from her front yard. These mattered to her a great deal, namely because she lives alone. One was a sign for a local neighborhood watch patrol company, and the other a generic “security cameras in use” warning sign.

She may live in a very nice neighborhood, but crime is rampant in her area. Removing those signs left her feeling with a little less peace-of-mind. So she jumped on the phone to calmly request the technician return the signs, pronto. I won’t belabor all the details but her frustration only grew when the technician apparently communicated he “was having a bad day” and would not be able to return to her area, with her signs in tow, for a few days.

Wrong answer, dude. I won’t venture a guess as to why he took them — they weren’t even from a competing business — but he quite clearly had no intention of ever returning those signs. I even phoned Brinks myself to further explain the situation and see about getting the predicament resolved. An attentive customer service representative assured me the dealer’s technician was being communicated with and the signs would be returned. In all, my mom was told there had been three communications with the technician, all to no avail.

What is the point of all this? Maybe it’s nothing more than just a wee tale from the trenches to share with you all. I hear so much about the absolute necessity to provide superior customer service as a means of competitive differentiation. But for many of you I know it goes well beyond competition. It’s about truly caring about the work and service you provide in protecting property and lives. And that extends to the people you hire and the workplace culture you nurture.

Your work matters. And when your work fails to reach a customer’s expectations that matters too.

Hey, mom’s doing just fine. She would end up footing $10 to replace the video surveillance warning sign, but ultimately was left feeling her troubles were successfully logged and resolved. I got word of this from her yesterday via text message:

“The sign saga is over. Brinks is crediting me with $50 along with an apology. Also made a notation on my account that if I need a tech at the house, this guy will never come to my house! I told them I never want to — not even in this case — mess with one’s employment. I just don’t want to deal with him again.”

About the Author

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Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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